Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Wish I Could Call My Dad...

As Father's Day approaches this Sunday, my mind can't help but turn to my own dad who has been gone for over 10 years. He was certainly a hero in my eyes...we said at his funeral that if any of us were ever unsure of the right thing to do, we could simply think of what Dad would do, and we'd have our answer.

Of course, he wasn't perfect, but in the things that mattered most, he was pretty darn close. He was full of integrity--never wavering; he honored and revered God, and taught us to do the same; he demonstrated the value of hard work; he knew how to listen and objectively approach our problems; he taught us respect and reverence for our country; he led by his steadfast example; and he loved us.

Like many of you must feel about your dads....I miss him. How many times have I wanted to pick up the phone and ask him a question? Dozens...then I remember, I can't.

My talented brother in law has captured these feelings perfectly in his thoughts about his own son. I appreciate his permission in allowing me to share it here.

May each of you have a wonderful Father's Day as we celebrate the fathers that we have grown up with, the fathers that we married, the fathers that have passed on, and the influence they have all had in shaping our lives. If your Dad is still around, be sure to pick up the phone and call...

My son called today;
He needed some advice
On how to wire the pick-up
To his trailer.

We chatted about resources,
Who to talk to,
Testing tools and time.

He apologized for calling
During my lunch hour;
He thanked me for helping
Him make a plan of action.

It was a good father-son interaction;
An informative phone call.

In between the lines-
Between the talk-
And the pauses
And the brief silences,
I heard him say:
“Love ya, dad,
Thanks for talking with me,
Guiding me, helping me-
I like it when we solve
Problems together”.

“Thanks for loving my mother,
And providing for us.
Thanks for showing me
How to be a man and knowing
About wiring, pick-ups and trailers”.

I heard all those things today,
In a five minute phone call,
From a town in Idaho,
A thousand miles away.

I’ll be gone someday;
He’ll have sons of his own:
Sons that will look to him for

In the not too distant future,
He won’t be able to chat with me
On a moment's notice.
All too soon he will have to face
The world without a dad.

He’ll have a problem:
Mechanical, financial,
A simple decision;
He’ll think about calling me

Then remember…

He can’t…

I wish I could call my Dad

Gary Eckhardt
© 2010 February


  1. Wow! Shelli, that was beautiful...made me cry. Wish I could phone my dad too!

  2. Very nice. Does your brother-in-law live in Atascadero, CA? Erik lived there in the early 70's.

  3. Shelli - this was so beautiful. And the poem by Gary? So poignant considering Father's Day. Your Dad (Grandpa) was everything you said of him. A true example. I miss him too. Thanks for this thoughtful post. And for such a fun evening Sunday! We need to see you more often! Love you!

  4. Ok Shelli, that was really powerful! Your entry and Gary's poem are both the kind of thoughts that are meant to be recorded and remembered. That's why people are supposed to write journals, for special things written just like this. Thanks!

  5. What a great tribute to Dad's. I love your thoughts about Grandpa. I miss him and think about him a lot. I also loved Gary's poem. Thanks for sharing!


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